A man drinking coffee

 

Written by Jacob Terranova

 

A few weeks ago, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its plans to update the overtime regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The update, set to be implemented Dec. 1, will give overtime protections under a certain set of standards to around 4 million workers.

 

As a funeral home owner, these changes may apply to you. In the new rules, overtime is broadly extended and will include nonexempt salary workers.

 

There are three factors the DOL uses to determine if an employee is exempt or not. The factors are the minimum salary level, the salary basis, and the duties test.

 

The FLSA changes are mainly focused on the first — the salary level.

 

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Here is a quick look at the main changes:

 

  1. The maximum salary was originally set at $455 a week, or $23,600 annually. The new standard will be set at $913 a week, or $46,475. That’s an increase of more than double. Anyone making less than the new level is now able to receive overtime pay.
  2. The minimum salary threshold isn’t set in stone. With the new standards, it is set to increase every three years, with the next increase in 2019.
  3. Highly compensated employees’ salary exemption level is being raised from $115,000 to $134,004.

These changes can put a squeeze on funeral homes. What can you do to comply? You could raise the salary of employees to make them meet the overtime threshold. You also can pay the time and a half overtime to those who worked more than 40 hours. There also is the option to either cut back on an employee’s hours or hire new ones.

 

The DOL has a comprehensive frequently asked questions page to help. USA Today also published an article that explains the changes and how to better respond to them. It’s best to speak with a financial advisor or lawyer to get a better idea of the impact on your funeral home.

 

Another way you can lessen the impact of these changes is for you and your staff to utilize time-saving technology. Here are some ways it helps:

  • It can cut back on the routine paperwork and office tasks. Office programs and project management software reduces the workload so you only have to do a task once.
  • It helps you communicate faster. Being able to quickly get in touch with an employee, family, or vendor can avoid costly mistakes while saving time.
  • It improves efficiency. Staff workloads can be better managed and tracked. Important files and documents can be stored and easily accessed anywhere.

Ultimately, healthy implementation of technology leads to more work getting done, with fewer people, faster.